Best Framing Nailers Review For Your Project 2020 – Buying Guides

There used to be a time when framing nailers were mostly used by professional framers and carpenters for completing woodwork projects. Nowadays, even greenhorns and novices with hardly any experience of working with wood use a framing nailer with aplomb, thanks to the profusion of innovative models. A modern-day nail gun can turn an amateur carpenter or framer into a pro in no time.

Framing nailers, popularly known as ‘nail guns’ enable you to bump nails and rivets into wooden panels, boards, and planks almost effortlessly. If you’re a professional looking for the best framing nailer to complete your woodwork projects effectively and quickly then choosing your ideal product can be quite challenging.

After all, the market is replete with so many varieties and models of nail guns that you’ll have a hard time deciding which model to buy. In this article, we’ve thoroughly reviewed six of the best framing nailers to make it easier for you to select a model that best suits your needs and preferences.


Framing Nailer Buying Guide

Of all the different types of nail guns you’ll find in the market, the framing nailer tends to be the largest. When it comes to dealing with large woodwork projects, a heavy-duty framing nailer is your best bet. For making the most of a hardwearing framing nailer, you will invariably need powerful fasteners and tough nails.

Framing nailers find extensive applications at construction sites and in manufacturing units where carpenters use them for installing roofing, creating pallets, constructing fences, and framing walls.

The type of framing nailer you will choose, by and large, depends on the nature of projects you usually take up. Evidently enough, a professional framer or contractor will need a product that will be markedly different from what a homeowner will use.

You’ll have it easy choosing your best framing nailer once you are aware of the product features that will work for you.

Pneumatic or Cordless

You’ll come across two broad types or categories of framing nailers: cordless or fuel-oriented nailers and pneumatic nailers. Pneumatic nailers, as the expression makes it clear, works by using compacted air emanating from an air compressor.

A hose connects the compressor to the framing nailer that exploits the air pressure for forcefully pushing the rivets deep inside the wooden panel or framework.

The biggest drawback of a pneumatic model is that the tool could restrict your movement as it needs to stay connected to the air compressor.

Nevertheless, this drawback is easily outweighed by the pneumatic nailer’s performance and incredible power. A cordless framing nailer, on the other hand, does away with the need of using an air compressor.

The cordless nailer is powered by a combination of fuel cartridges and battery, and functions very much like an internal combustion engine. Pulling a trigger leads to the blending of small quantities of fuel and air that is ignited by a spark.

 The spark or ignition causes an explosion that furnishes adequate thrust for driving the piston that finally ejects the nails out of the tool.

There’s a third category of framing nailers-brushless nailers-which are grouped under cordless framing nailers. This type of framing nailer comes with a brushless motor which is powered by a charged battery.

Nail Type

The nail size or sizes you’ll choose is another important factor that you’ll have to take into consideration before buying a framing nailer. Since all nail guns are not created equal, it follows that a particular product is designed to use a specific kind of fastener.

That said, framing nailers are designed for using fasteners or rivets having a size ranging from 1 and half inches to 31/2 inches.  

Trigger Type

Nailing guns, by and large, use two kinds of triggers; single-fire and bump-fire. With a bump-fire trigger, you hold it for thrusting or knocking the tip of the rivet into the woodwork. Alternatively, a framing nailer with a single-fire trigger requires you to compress the nail’s tip into the wood for driving it inside.

The single-fire trigger allows you to bump only one nail at a time.


A good number of framing nailers come equipped with a cartridge or magazine for positioning the nails. If you opt for a framing nailer whose cartridge can hold a large number of nails then you’ll be spared from the hassle of reloading the magazine frequently. While some nail gun models have cartridges that need to be loaded from the rear, others come with top-loading magazines.

Now whether you’ll choose a top-loading or a rear-loading framing nailer is a matter of personal preference.

Depth-Drive Mechanism

The depth-drive functionality of a nail gun specifies the extent to which the tool can embed the nail inside the wooden piece. Framing nailers make use of a range of mechanisms for driving the nails into the pieces such as a knob or button system, dial mode, and even a manual control.

Automated depth-adjustment mechanisms tend to be more convenient and hence widely popular, the greater accuracy of the manual mode notwithstanding.

Rafter Hook

You’ll find a nail gun with a built-in truss hook, hugely handy, if your work mostly comprise building a roof or shed. The rafter or truss hook lets you securely suspend the framing nailer on the beam of a roof while you’re perched on the ladder.

Hanging the nail gun on the roof or shed via its hook enables you to fetch the tool as and when you need without having to go down the ladder.  


The weight of the nail gun is another crucial consideration that you’d need to factor in before you make a purchase decision.

If you’re going to use the tool for completing heavy construction work or large-scale projects, you’re obviously going to need a heavy-duty product. And if you need to lug the framing nailer for the better part of your working day, then a hefty tool will tie you down.

Therefore, you’ll have to go for a nail gun that enables you to accomplish big projects and at the same time remarkably lightweight.

Framing nailers, in recent times, have seen a lot of advancements and upgrades, implying that you may come across a durable and lightweight product that can help achieve big-time projects. Nail guns made from magnesium not only tend to be hardwearing but also quite lightweight and corrosion-resistant.

 Top 6 Best Framing Nailers 2020


Product Name

Best Feature

Best Versatile Nailer

Best Compact Framing Nailer

Best Multi-functional Naier

Best Nailer with Interchangeable Trigger Nailer  

Best Affordable Nailer

Best Robust Nailer

The NR90AES1 Pneumatic Framing Nailer from Hitachi is a veritable powerhouse, enabling pros to complete their woodwork projects done quickly without compromising on efficiency.

The NR90AES1 pneumatic nail gun sports a lightweight design that allows for easy handling and causes less fatigue. This Hitachi framing nailer features a novel head design, enabling users to quickly and conveniently disassemble the tool for better maintenance.

A simple turning of a switch allows you to shift from one nailing mode to another. The hassle-free depth-adjustment mechanism facilitates driving fasteners and rivets effectively into a wide range of materials.

The anodized aluminum cartridge comes in perfectly handy when you need to carry out replacements or repairs quickly.

The loading and reloading of nail stripes is rendered convenient, thanks to the integrated two-step stacking process. The rubberized grip ensures that you hold the framing nailer comfortably without sacrificing firmness.

Hitachi’s NR90AES1 nail gun has been designed and created to bump plastic industrial plastic collated nails in sizes ranging from 2” to 3-1/2”, construction nails, and duplex nails.

The nail gun weighs just 7.5 pounds which is sufficiently lightweight for a heavy-duty model like NR90AES1.


  • The nail gun’s lightweight construction makes it easy to maneuver and carry around in a job site; weighs a little over 7 lbs
  • Makes the most of tool-less depth adjustment mechanism: perfect for embedding nails deeper into wood pieces
  • Capable of driving 2” to 3” ½” inch collated plastic nails into surfaces with remarkable ease
  • Sports a new head design which makes the tool more performance oriented
  • The framing nailer is made of tough materials which ensures it remains functional for years
  • ​Rubber grip allows you to hold the gun firmly without causing hand fatigue


  • The lever that lets you switch from contact to sequential nailing and back keeps jumping off and does not work after firing a shot

  • Precision depth adjustment can become a struggle at times

  • Absence of a truss hook makes the tool difficult to retrieve and carry

2. PASLODE 905600 Framing Nailer Best Compact Framing Nailer

Carpenters and framers who are eagerly looking to graduate to a cordless nail gun as they’re tired of dealing with pneumatic models, should consider using the PASLODE 905600 framing nailer.

The 905600 Framing Nailer from Paslode has a very compact design which allows you to work with this tool in enclosed spaces. At the same time this nail gun is remarkably lightweight at 7.2lbs, enabling you to hold and use it comfortably while working on rooftops or in tight spaces.

The lightweight construction of this nailing framer from PASLODE implies that you can lug the tool with supreme ease in your job site.

The tool comes with a built-in 7v lithium-ion battery ensuring you an extended run-time, at least 50%   more than other similar models. Numerically speaking, you can drive up to 9,000 nails with every full charge of the battery.

This cordless nail gun from Paslode has been innovatively designed and constructed, making it more performance driven than most other fuel-driven models.    


  • This cordless framing nailer uses fuel cells for operation, letting you use it comfortably and effectively even at very low temperatures
  • Weighing approximately 7.2lbs, this nail gun can be maneuvered and carried with ease from one jobsite to another

  • The tool can effortlessly bump nails into a range of hardwood surfaces, including LVL surfaces

  • The compacted nail gun ensures that you can use it confidently even in tight spaces and enclosures

  • Comes equipped with a powerful battery capable of driving up to 9,000 nails with a single charge

  • The metallic construction makes sure that the tool has a long shelf life


  • The gun can hold and fire only one nail at a time; hence recurrent reloading could become tedious eventually
  • You’ll need to repurchase the fuel cells time and again which can add to your expenses in due course
  • The nail gun is not compatible with aftermarket rivets and fasteners

3. BOSTITCH F21PL Framing Nailer, Round Head -

Best Multi-functional Naier

The BOSTITCH F21PL pneumatic nail gun is definitely one of the best framing nailers you can buy with your money. This nail gun boasts of a range of versatile features, including nail depth adjustment capability simply by pressing a button.

At the same time, you can conveniently make the switch from metal connectors to plastic coated nails with a simply flip of a switch.

The depth-adjustment mechanism lets you easily drive in 1/1/2 to 3/1/2 inch nails on a variety of materials. Magnesium has been used generously for manufacturing this nailing gun which makes this tool supremely easy to handle and lug from one place to another.

The rubberized grip and incorporated skid pads facilitate firm gripping of the tool as well as its steady installment on any surface.  

The F21PL is a two-in-one nailer, equipped with two quick change nosepieces for modifying the tool for using as a metal connector or framing nailer.


  • This Bostitch framing nailer is the perfect tool for subflooring, bracing, sheathing, and framing tasks
  • Sports a robust yet lightweight magnesium framework that makes the tool ideal for transportation for completing different projects quickly
  • Fast changing dual nosepieces allows you to switchover from metal connector rivets to plastic-collating fasteners
  • The capacious magazine can sheathe up to 60 metal connector as well as 60 plastic-collated nails
  • The 16-inch layout on the magazine indicator lets you see instantly the ideal distance between any two rivets
  • It comes with a flexible rafter hook that lets you suspend the nailer from rafters and trusses
  • The framing nailer comes with a 7-year warranty


  • The magazine design is such that is takes some time between reloads
  • The pneumatic mode means you’ll have to deal with hose and air compressor, eating into your work time
  • At 9.5 pounds, it does not qualify to be a lightweight model

4. Freeman PFR2190 Framing Nailer - Best Nailer with Interchangeable Trigger Nailer  

The Freeman PFR2190 Framing Nailer is undoubtedly one of the most versatile nail guns you can choose, thanks to its durable yet lightweight design. The PFR2190 pneumatic framing nailer from Freeman comes with a driver blade chiseled out of industrial grade steel but its framework is made of durable and lightweight magnesium that makes it handy and portable.

Simply put, this nail gun is perfectly capable of handling a wide range of projects as well as holds its own in the most inhospitable of environments.

The resourceful magazine of this framing nailer can accept almost all types of branded as well as generic and aftermarket nails. The cartridge is capable of holding up to 55 nails which makes the magazine remarkably efficient. The anti-dry firing mode ensures that the gun will come to a stop when only a few nails are left to check damage and jamming.

The tool-less depth control together with the no-mar flat tip functionalities add to the nail gun’s versatility.


  • This pneumatic framing nailer is extremely hardy boasting of a tough magnesium body with a robust steel driver blade
  • The ergonomic design of the handle makes for a comfortable yet firm grip
  • Interchangeable trigger means you can quickly shift between single-fire and bump-fire modes
  • Tool-less depth adjustment and no-mar tip renders it ideal to work with on different surfaces
  • You can accomplish a host of jobs using this nail gun, namely fencing, wood box assembly, palleting, subflooring,  and sheathing


  • Not compact enough for fitting into tight enclosures and spaces
  • The magazine takes some effort to reload time and again
  • Can hold only up to 55 nails at a go
  • You will experience a good amount of recoil

5. Numax SFR2190 Framing Nailer - Best Affordable Nailer

The Numax SFR2190 Framing Nailer is not only a very pocket-friendly tool but also scores high on the performance front. The nail gun features a fully round head that allows for working efficiently on a comprehensive range of woodwork projects. This 21˚pneumatic framing nailer features a magnesium frame which makes the tool remarkably lightweight and durable.

The ergonomic grip or handle lets you to hold the nail gun comfortably and firmly, especially when you are shifting from single shot to multiple or bump-fire mode.

This unique feature makes the framing nailer appropriate for both commercial construction projects and home renovation jobs. The no-mar tip coupled with the depth-adjustment mode makes the nail gun supremely suitable for working on different surfaces.

The practical design of the tool renders it ideal for framing and also for sheathing, wood fencing, and roof decking. The magnesium body keeps the unit lightweight, rendering it easy for you to handle it as well as imparts robustness.


  • Anti-dry fire functionality keeps the nail gun from firing when the magazine has very few nails
  • Fully adaptable air exhaust helps blow away rubble and also prevents air blowing on your face
  • Transposable trigger helps choose from single-fire and bump-fire mechanisms for accurate embedment and fast driving of fasteners respectively
  • Anti-dust/air-filter cap helps keep the tool’s internal components clean
  •  Removing the no-mar tip reveals a set of fine teeth that aids in gripping the wooden surface for steady firing
  • The no-mar tip keeps the work surface fully protected and prevents the worktop from getting dented or dinged 


  • Switching from one firing mode to another is a hassle as you always have to remove and replace triggers
  • At 8.6 pounds, this pneumatic framing nailer could be difficult to carry especially if you’ve to move a lot during work

The Bostitch MCN-150 comes to the aid of professionals who’re looking for a framing nailer that lets them handle heavy-duty projects and is also maneuverable. 

The low-profile compact design of this nail gun comes in supremely handy when framers and carpenters need to work in tight enclosures and in between trusses and beams of rooftops.

This framing nailer from Bostitch performs much beyond your expectations, despite being small.

The MCN-150 makes the most of the pressure it produces to effortlessly bump nails ranging in size from 1-1/2” into thickset lumber. And the MCN- has a heft of just 4.6 lbs which makes it one of the lightest nail guns in the market. So, you may not feel very exhausted even after carrying this framing nailer and working with it all day long. 

The entire framework of the framing nailer has been shaped out of premium grade metal making this nail gun incredibly durable yet lightweight. Bostitch is offering a 7-year warranty on this nail gun model, so you can look forward to getting a replacement if anything goes wrong.


  • The ideal nail gun for all metal connector types
  • Exposed nail tip positions the fastener point right into connector holes resulting in an accurate embedment
  • Built-in safety mechanism that checks the gun from shooting if and when the same is improperly positioned inside the connector hole
  • The StrapShot Metal Connector Gun bumps 1-1/2 inch 35˚ paper tape metal connector fasteners into any kind metallic connector plate
  • One of the most compact and lightweight nail guns in the market


  • Does not fire nails larger than 1/1/2 inches
  • This nail gun will not work in freezing or subzero temperatures
  • Holds only up to 25 nails; will have to reload the magazine frequently when working for a extended time period
  • Anti-dry firing prevents the gun from driving the final 5 nails in the cartridge


So there you have it- six of the best framing nailers that offers good value for your money. Almost all the models reviewed above have been designed for handling heavy-duty projects with a capability for driving different sizes of plastic collated, generic, and aftermarket nails into various surfaces. Again, most of the models feature depth drive mechanism for accurate placement of nails.

To say the last but not the least, all the nail guns have been solidly constructed enabling them to withstand rough handling.

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